Otters make a comeback across England

Following sightings by wildlife experts in Kent, otters have now been confirmed as having returned to every county in England.

During the 60s and 70s, the otter was almost wiped out by now-prohibited organochlorine pesticides, which polluted water, poisoning the mammals and killing fish that contributed to their diet.

“The recovery of otters from near-extinction shows how far we’ve come in controlling pollution and improving water quality,” said the Environment Agency’s national conservation manager, Alastair Driver. “Rivers in England are the healthiest for over 20 years, and otters, salmon and other wildlife are returning to many rivers for the first time since the industrial revolution.”

Otter numbers continue to recover in counties across the UK, including Lancashire which has seen a 44% increase since 2008.The Environment Agency said it is now working in conjunction with Natural England to ensure that English rivers can meet new EU targets on the overall health of rivers.